Originally from San Diego, Audrey Rachel Yang is a second year Pre-Human Biology and Society major at UCLA. She is a member of the Communications Committee this year and hopes to pursue her dream job as a pediatrician. Also, it’s incredibly important to note that her favorite animal is an elephant!
We turned pillow forts into isolated caves, transformed hallways into treacherous mazes. Playing with my toddler cousin was like receiving an open invitation to fulfill every aspect of our wildest imaginations while reality faded away in that background. I always allowed myself to revert back to my childish ways whenever she came to visit, and I secretly enjoyed the excuse to disregard the real world whenever we set out on another adventure.
One day, as we ventured through an enchanted forest found in my backyard, my little cousin paused, looked up at me, and extended her hand. When I glanced down into her eyes filled with unwavering trust and wonderment, it was in that moment that I began to feel my own weight in the world. Through this simple gesture, a sense of responsibility planted itself in the root of my efforts. I felt the responsibility to take her hand, to lead her, and to never let go.
My love of working with children stems from this feeling, the feeling that I owe the next generation encouragement and inspiration. Not in the sense that I myself must be the person to push children to their fullest potential, but that I am responsible in uncovering the potential that already exists within them. Children are fragile in that they can be easily broken; yet at the same time, they hold a rare and delicate strength that can bring about unprecedented change.
Gradually, all children grow up. As a college student, I understand the difficulty in leaving behind that euphoric state of freedom that is childhood, unrestrained by the studying needed to pass the next midterm or the sleepless nights spent writing in the library. Every now and then you have the chance to revert back to your childish ways, like I do while playing with my younger cousin. Yet that rude jolt back into reality may leave you more flustered then before, trying to grasp why you can’t stay in that mindset forever.
Why not? We place less emphasis on the power children have within society based on age, but within most children there are untainted qualities that older generations no longer have. The astounding dedication to pursue one’s passions, the genuine desire to change the world; some may call these traits naïve, but I believe that they are truly beautiful.
GlobeMed at UCLA is filled with individuals who harbor each of these qualities in unique ways. Each week I am reminded of the astounding group of people that I am fortunate enough to associate myself with, through thoughtful presentations and engaging discussions. Last week at our annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser hosted with Bruins For Israel, Achy Breaky, I witnessed the dedication and passion that is often lost amongst people of our age. The people within GlobeMed have shown that those beautiful qualities, unfettered by an imposed reality, can carry through childhood and into the rest of your life.
My wildest imaginations have drastically changed from childhood. While I used to dream of traveling through time, my dreams are still far-reaching, but I know now that they are nonetheless achievable. Watching as members of GlobeMed work to help a community on the other side of the world develop sustainable practices has made me realize the potential that can be uncovered within me. The organization has reinstalled in me the sense that I hold a strength that is capable of bringing about unprecedented change. GlobeMed has taken me by the hand, lead me towards experiences I never would have ever imagined, and I plan on never letting go.